You may, dear reader, be wondering about the + following my time above. I was stuck on the three-letter answer at 27D. Believe. I had the U from QUAKERS, but didn't know Sibling trio in "Hamilton" (SCHUYLERSISTERS) at 33A, nor Whole note, to a Brit (SEMIBREVE - they have a different word for *everything*) at 26A. And, seeing as I was coming over all peckish anyway, I closed up the puzzle and headed to the town center for some cheesy comestibles. As I walked, I started running the alphabet for both unknown letters and, before too long, thankfully, I came across BUY and knew that was it. It was in this wise that I got a lot of puzzle thinking in without adding a single tick to the clock. I'm not sure how cricket that is.
I was, in point of fact, a little surprised to have been able to successfully complete this puzzle at all. I count 14 names and words I am not familiar with - most as answers, but some in the clues as well - quadrels for example, but still I BEATIT. :) One name I did know, thanks to Horace, was TEASDALE (Poet Sara who wrote "I Shall Not Care" at 25D.
There was some good fill today. I enjoyed TOURNIQUET at 4D - the answer more so than the clue (Flow stopper, of a sort - meh). Group of 100 people (SENATE) was interesting and IMRICH for "Jackpot" at 43D was fun. Goes for the bronze? (SUNS) was cute. 40D. and 24A. Practice composition? : Abbr. (DRS) was a clever clue for an age-old abbreviation. My favorite clue, although I don't generally like a "with" clue, was 50D. Generates, with "up" (GINS). I love that expression.
The wearying work of puzzle crafting brought us two awkward plurals (or three if you count words in the clues): 57A. Equilibria (STASES) and 29D. Some pyramids, though not the ones at Giza (TETRAHEDRA). Also, one possibly unnecessary plural at 16A. Austrian treats (STRUDELS). Isn't strudel one of those words that is the same in singular and plural? I'm not sure about that, but I am sure that the more you say or type the word strudel, the weirder it seems.
I like the idea behind the clue at Meal maker? at 1A, but not the answer so much. I'm sure you can make meal in a PESTLE, but it's a little far out for me. I would have preferred mill as the answer. B-
BABAR for now.